"Women and Lust: Exposed, Forgiven, and Embraced" by Sarah Taras

Off the top of my head, I can think of many books by Christian authors addressing the subject of men and sexual lust, as well as its associated sins (pornography, etc.). However, when it comes to women and lust, not even a single volume comes to mind. Thankfully, Sarah Taras offers a truly excellent mini-book on this almost completely neglected topic.

Beginning with the fictitious but all-to-real stories of "Carrie" and "Emma," Taras personifies the struggle of women and lust realistically but not gratuitously - a worthy balance she maintains throughout the book. 

Taras does not exempt herself either. Bravely, she offers her own confession, no doubt a comforting and disarming note of solidarity with many of her female readers:

I've spent years trying to hide my struggle from God and others and have felt alone and discouraged. I found that the church often offers unhelpful solutions coupled with shame language to men, while simultaneously ignoring my sexuality completely. I do understand this struggle, sister. You are not alone and you are not weird. Sin has never been bound by gender (pg. 9). 

From there, Taras unpacks the good news of the gospel for women (and no doubt male readers) regarding their sexuality. For those conditioned to view their sexuality as a curse, not a gift, Taras offers sound biblical corrective. For those struggling to trust the acceptance God freely offers in the gospel, she explores - with boldness - the radical nature of God's forgiveness in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The book then explores biblical portraits of Jesus' ministry to women dealing with sexual sin and shame. Although brief (due to the nature of the publication) these were especially powerful. 

I'll admit that I was greatly encouraged by Taras' brief but very pertinent references to Protestant Reformers, John Calvin and Martin Luther. It seemed like one more evidence that this is a thoroughly researched, well-rounded mini-book - anchored in the Scriptures and sound Christian thought.

Although very concise, it is hardly a shallow read. It's excellent - well written; well organized; and well worth your time. I'm thankful for Sarah Taras' willingness to shine light on a struggle left in the dark for far too long.